Another in our series of interviews with regional and public gallery directors. Earlier this year we visited Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery to chat with their director Debbie Abraham.
Debbie Abraham has worked in the arts industry for over 30 years in galleries, NETS and as a designer. She was awarded Bachelor of Education Art (1982) and a Graduate Diploma in Printmaking (1985). During the late 1980s and early 1990s she was proprietor of the Newcastle-based textile design studio Tikat Designs. During this time, she also taught at various institutions including Hunter TAFE and secondary schools.
In 1995 Abraham accepted the position of Co-Director of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery where she managed the relocation of the gallery from Speers Point to Booragul. From 1997–99 she was NETS Program Manager for NSW, instrumental in developing national policy. In 2000 Abraham took up the position of Gallery Director at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. Since that time, she has been involved in the construction and fit-out of the new building (2001) and project management of the construction of the art education room (2008). She has strategically managed the gallery to ensure the budget, staffing and visitation has doubled and has overseen the development and presentation of over 200 exhibitions and several community partnership projects, particularly working with the Aboriginal community . Debbie Abraham has been a member of many industry committees, including M&G NSW Audience Development Steering Committee, Chair of the ArtCraftDesign NN MA National, Chair of RPG NSW, and on the assessment panels for the Office for the Arts Regional Touring Program and Arts NSW regional, Annual and Multi-Year Programs.